As we adjust to our new normal and start thinking about returning to some semblance of our old routines it’s important to start thinking about how you’ll look after your skin once the pressures of commuting, school runs, and worklife return.
Holding on to your new self-care rituals
During lockdown and a slower pace of life, it’s been a great time to work on self-care and wellness. From practising better skincare to taking regular exercise, and even meditation, some have managed to shift the balance and use this time to recentre. Others have been plunged into a 24/7 cycle of working and not being able to “log off” as it were. So, how do we prepare for the uncertain road ahead?
Many have indulged their lockdown period to practice a more conscious beauty routine and opt for organic beauty products and products that have less of an impact on the planet. And if you’re someone who’s tidied up your skincare regime and is worried about it slipping away on the way out of lockdown, then read on to find out what international, celebrity facialist, Adeela Crown suggests for amazing, healthy skin.
Combat Dehydrated Skin
If you’ve been glued to your screen whilst working remotely, then Adeela suggests upping your hydration… “Being indoors, in the temperature-controlled environments, with moisture-sucking central heating and lack of exposure to elements like the wind may lead to dehydration and dry skin build-up.” A quick fix? “I suggest using a physical exfoliant like a scrub with a cleansing device or a gentle face brush once a week in the shower. Exfoliation turns the skin into a clean canvas which is the perfect time to deeply hydrate with hyaluronic, peptide and vitamin-based serums.” Suggests Adeela.
Can stress affect your skin?
For many, the last few months have been a time of great stress which can take its toll on your skin, Adeela explains what can happen when we’re under stress, “The body responds by ramping up stress hormone cortisol, nature's 'built-in-alarm' system, causing your skin to produce excess sebum, plugging the pores and leading to inflammation and breakouts.” She mentions the importance of working both from the inside and outside to return to a more zen-like and blemish-free state with some easy fixes to weave into everyday life. “Many people don't realise that gut and skin are interconnected. Overeating and stress eating can often lead to eczema, rosacea and breakouts. Now is the time to increase yoghurts, probiotics and plenty of green vegetables and fruits to nourish the skin with vitamins. This will help your digestive system get rid of toxins and help prevent spots.”
Adeela also notes how important it is for us to stay on top of hygiene in the home and to form new, cleaner habits explaining, “A common assumption is that you're safe from germs indoors, but remember daily household items your skin is in constant contact with like phone, keyboard, pillowcase and even towels are breeding grounds for bacteria. They can cause infection or blemishes.” Continuing, she suggests changing linen every couple of days and disinfecting your phones and work surfaces daily.
To shave or not to shave?
Now that salons are reopening across the country, we are seeing fewer lockdown locks tumbling from the heads of usually clean-cut men. Many men have used this time to enjoy having long hair and beards. Adeela explains what these many newfound beards may be doing to men's skin, “Shaving or lack of it causes skin issues. Daily shaving strips the skin of natural PH levels, leading to dehydration. Beard hair, on the other hand, leads to excessive dry skin build-up which causes breakouts, dermatitis and rosacea.” Adeela suggests using an exfoliating facial brush to use in the shower twice a week to “lift impurities from both on and under facial hair.” She also notes how handy and discreet pimple patches can be for helping to stop any picking and prodding at blemishes lurking under beards or on the neck and jawline.
Skin superhero - Retinols
One ingredient we can all take forward with us into our “new normal” is retinol. A potent form of Vitamin A that can easily be slipped into your beauty regimen. “As a Facialist, I always sing praises of the skin transformative benefits of Retinol. I always tell my clients that if more people used Retinol correctly then I'd probably see 50% less clients!” Says Adeela. Continuing on the wonder beauty ingredient, “The common misconception is that it leads to dry, flaky and irritated skin which puts people off and leads to discontinuation of use. But even the best retinol will make your skin peel, due to increased cellular turnover, and any irritation will gradually subside as your skin builds up a tolerance over weeks. So patience and persistence are key.”
How to use Retinol products
Adeela explains the best way to use retinol products, “Retinol products range from very low concentrations at 0.1% to high, at 2%. So when first trying it out start with low as you build a tolerance. Nighttime is the best time but I always advise clients to build it up in 3 steps over a maximum of 10 weeks of use.”
- Step 1 > use it every 3rd night for 7 applications (week 1-3)
- Step 2 > move to every 2nd night for 7 applications (week 3-5)
- Step 3 > eventually use it nightly (week 5 onwards till week 8 up to 10)
“Remember that retinol increase [the] skin's vulnerability to the sun so wearing SPF, even indoors, is essential to protect the skin from the harmful UV rays entering through the windows.” She explains.
So how can we make this all work as we return to our busy schedules? “Think like a chef. You have all those skincare ingredients in front of you, now take time to choose and create a simplistic but effective skin-menu.” Advises Adeela. “Cleanse AM and PM, make your shower time, your own personal spa time, at least once a week. I find exfoliants are best used in the shower as the warmth and steam opens the pore for deeper pore purification.” Says Adeela, a simple goal we can all work towards!
Best Skin Hack?
Adeela advises us on a great home cheat treat, “Keep 2 spoons (tablespoons) in the freezer overnight to de-puff the eyes. Take them straight out of the freezer and glide the spoons over your face and eyes to refresh your freshly moisturised skin every morning. And there, you have your very own Cryo Facial!”
By Hannah Shakir